Conceptronic C150APM first impressions

When I ordered a new router last week, I decided to also try and tackle a networking issue that had been causing me headaches for a while. My wife’s network printer is located in her study, and we were using powerline adapters to connect to it. This would usually work just fine, except when we needed to print something important, or quickly. That’s why, with a strong wireless-n wifi signal now available in said room, I added the C150APM to my order.

This versatile little black box can perform three different functions in your network. I can be used as an access point if you do not yet have wireless internet. If you do, but the signal isn’t very styrong, the C150APM can be used as a repeater to “rebroadcast” your wifi to make it cover greater distances. What I’m using it for however is the third option. I needed a bridge adapter.

Setup

The printer I wanted to be able to communicate with more dependably has a wired LAN port. In order to use it over my wifi network, I switched the Conceptronic into “bridge” mode, which in essence means it does the exact opposite of an access point. Instead of taking wired LAN and transmitting it through the air, a bridge receives wifi, and outputs it over a wired LAN port. So basically, it adds wifi to devices that would otherwise need cables.

Setting up the device was easy enough. The C150APM has a very decent web interface, and the manual guides you through the neccesary steps involved in connecting to it. I had it set up in ten minutes usign my laptop. I then moved it upstairs, used the bundled network cable to hook it up to the printer, and it’s done its job perfectly ever since.

Power consumption

Unlike the ZyXEL Homeplug adapters I was using before, this box does not run hot at all. It stays at room temperature, which makes sense since it uses only very little energy. It consumes around 2W, which is less then even the most frugal of powerline adapters, of which you need at least two.

Given its three potential uses, the easy and well-documented setup and its low price, there’s little not to like about this little box. It doesn’t have the fasted possible dual band wireless-n, but in bridge mode, and connected only to a printer, this is not much of an issue. So far so good.

UPDATE: Since writing this post, I’ve noticed that the C150APM would sometimes forget the wifi pass word when it was unplugged. This meant having to go back into the web interface, which turned out to be very cumbersome. Especially so since doing so requires changing LAN adapter settings. I’ve moved on to the DrayTek VigorAP 800.